After years of hard fighting against the disease and its spread, Africa was certified as polio-free in 2020, with the last indigenous case of wild polio recorded there in 2016. As this infographic using World Bank data shows though, wild polio has not yet been eradicated globally, with the disease still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan and a small number of 'imported' cases detected in Africa in 2021 and 2022.
To aid in this ongoing fight the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this week it was committing $1.2 billion to help in the eradication of all forms of polio from the planet. As detailed in a statement on the foundation's website: "The new financial commitment will support implementation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026, which aims to end wild poliovirus in the last two endemic countries—Pakistan and Afghanistan—and stop outbreaks of new variants of the virus." Looking forward, Bill Gates is quoted as saying: “Polio eradication is within reach. But as far as we have come, the disease remains a threat. Working together, the world can end this disease".